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Some Big Bang Questions

Orangatang
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5/19/2015 11:32:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
First of all why does everyone call the big bang a theory when it can't be tested, isn't it just a hypothesis. Also I hear a lot of theists claiming that the big bang proves there is a beginning of time, is this true? I'm no physicist but I'm pretty sure nobody knows or has proven if there was a "before" to the big bang, or that the big bang proves a beginning of time. To my knowledge the big bang is just a hypothesis that seeks to explain various things we see in our universe, like how galaxies are moving away from each other, and I know cosmic background radiation counts as evidence of this in some way. I think the beginning of time claim may perhaps be a consequence of one of the many different interpretations of physics, right?
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dee-em
Posts: 6,476
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5/20/2015 3:35:02 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/19/2015 11:32:37 PM, Orangatang wrote:

First of all why does everyone call the big bang a theory when it can't be tested, isn't it just a hypothesis.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation.[1][2][3] As with most (if not all) forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and aim for predictive power and explanatory capability.[4][5]

The BBT has been tested repeatedly and it has made predictions which were later confirmed.

Also I hear a lot of theists claiming that the big bang proves there is a beginning of time, is this true?

All we can say is that about 13.7 billion years have passed since the Big Bang state where the universe was sub-atomic in scale. We can't go any further back then this because the laws of physics, as we currently know them, break down. So yes, time and space arose from this initial state. However, we can't say that this was a beginning for the universe. Hawking, for example, has proposed a no-boundary universe as we go back to the Big Bang state.

I'm no physicist but I'm pretty sure nobody knows or has proven if there was a "before" to the big bang, or that the big bang proves a beginning of time.

See above.

To my knowledge the big bang is just a hypothesis that seeks to explain various things we see in our universe, like how galaxies are moving away from each other, and I know cosmic background radiation counts as evidence of this in some way.

No, it's called the Big Bang Theory (BBT) for a reason. You seem to be confusing the BBT with cosmogony. The BBT is a theory of the evolution of the universe from the Planck epoch (a tiny fraction of a second) onwards. This process is quite well understood (although some mysteries such as dark matter and dark energy remain). Cosmogony is a study of the origins of the universe.

I think the beginning of time claim may perhaps be a consequence of one of the many different interpretations of physics, right?

Many of the cosmogony models being investigated do away with the concept of a beginning of time, eg.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Orangatang
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5/20/2015 4:08:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation.[1][2][3] As with most (if not all) forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and aim for predictive power and explanatory capability.[4][5]

The BBT has been tested repeatedly and it has made predictions which were later confirmed.

Ok, can you give me some examples of the big bang being tested? I searched a little and differentiate found that the main point of differentiation between a theory and a hypothesis was that hypothesis are not tested while theories are.

Also I hear a lot of theists claiming that the big bang proves there is a beginning of time, is this true?

All we can say is that about 13.7 billion years have passed since the Big Bang state where the universe was sub-atomic in scale. We can't go any further back then this because the laws of physics, as we currently know them, break down. So yes, time and space arose from this initial state. However, we can't say that this was a beginning for the universe. Hawking, for example, has proposed a no-boundary universe as we go back to the Big Bang state.

How do you go from the laws of physics break down, to time and space arose from this initial state? Is it impossible that time and space did not exist before it expanded to form our universe?

To my knowledge the big bang is just a hypothesis that seeks to explain various things we see in our universe, like how galaxies are moving away from each other, and I know cosmic background radiation counts as evidence of this in some way.

No, it's called the Big Bang Theory (BBT) for a reason. You seem to be confusing the BBT with cosmogony. The BBT is a theory of the evolution of the universe from the Planck epoch (a tiny fraction of a second) onwards. This process is quite well understood (although some mysteries such as dark matter and dark energy remain). Cosmogony is a study of the origins of the universe.

Oooooh that explains a lot thanks for the clarification. It's just like the massive misunderstanding of abiogenesis with biological evolution.

I think the beginning of time claim may perhaps be a consequence of one of the many different interpretations of physics, right?

Many of the cosmogony models being investigated do away with the concept of a beginning of time, eg.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Here is a working link: http://en.wikipedia.org...
Cool idea, thank you ;)
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Orangatang
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5/20/2015 4:12:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Ok, can you give me some examples of the big bang being tested? I searched a little and found that the main point of differentiation between a theory and a hypothesis was that hypotheses are not tested while theories are.** (lol fixed grammar stuffs)
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dee-em
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5/20/2015 4:24:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/20/2015 4:08:23 AM, Orangatang wrote:
A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation.[1][2][3] As with most (if not all) forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and aim for predictive power and explanatory capability.[4][5]

The BBT has been tested repeatedly and it has made predictions which were later confirmed.

Ok, can you give me some examples of the big bang being tested? I searched a little and differentiate found that the main point of differentiation between a theory and a hypothesis was that hypothesis are not tested while theories are.

You can read about the observational evidence here:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

You mentioned one successful test yourself - the cosmic background radiation. The BBT predicted the existence of this heat glow and sure enough it was fully confirmed when the COBE satellite was launched in 1989.

Also I hear a lot of theists claiming that the big bang proves there is a beginning of time, is this true?

All we can say is that about 13.7 billion years have passed since the Big Bang state where the universe was sub-atomic in scale. We can't go any further back then this because the laws of physics, as we currently know them, break down. So yes, time and space arose from this initial state. However, we can't say that this was a beginning for the universe. Hawking, for example, has proposed a no-boundary universe as we go back to the Big Bang state.

How do you go from the laws of physics break down, to time and space arose from this initial state? Is it impossible that time and space did not exist before it expanded to form our universe?

It's incoherent. Without time, nothing can happen. You can't have a 'before' time. That's why Hawking and others are investigating no-boundary solutions.

To my knowledge the big bang is just a hypothesis that seeks to explain various things we see in our universe, like how galaxies are moving away from each other, and I know cosmic background radiation counts as evidence of this in some way.

No, it's called the Big Bang Theory (BBT) for a reason. You seem to be confusing the BBT with cosmogony. The BBT is a theory of the evolution of the universe from the Planck epoch (a tiny fraction of a second) onwards. This process is quite well understood (although some mysteries such as dark matter and dark energy remain). Cosmogony is a study of the origins of the universe.

Oooooh that explains a lot thanks for the clarification. It's just like the massive misunderstanding of abiogenesis with biological evolution.

Exactly.

I think the beginning of time claim may perhaps be a consequence of one of the many different interpretations of physics, right?

Many of the cosmogony models being investigated do away with the concept of a beginning of time, eg.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Here is a working link: http://en.wikipedia.org...
Cool idea, thank you ;)
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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5/20/2015 10:08:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/19/2015 11:32:37 PM, Orangatang wrote:
First of all why does everyone call the big bang a theory when it can't be tested, isn't it just a hypothesis.

To be testable, a theory needs to be able to make a statement about how the world works that is not already known, and then have this statement shown to be true by empirical evidence.

When what you're testing is in the past, you test it by using the theory to predict Observations you could make in the future that have no reason to be observed if the theory is incorrect. In this way the BBT has made predictions and has been tested.

Also I hear a lot of theists claiming that the big bang proves there is a beginning of time, is this true? I'm no physicist but I'm pretty sure nobody knows or has proven if there was a "before" to the big bang, or that the big bang proves a beginning of time. To my knowledge the big bang is just a hypothesis that seeks to explain various things we see in our universe, like how galaxies are moving away from each other, and I know cosmic background radiation counts as evidence of this in some way. I think the beginning of time claim may perhaps be a consequence of one of the many different interpretations of physics, right?

We don't have the laws of physics to describe what happened AT the beginning of the universe. None of our Maths work. In relativity, the gravitation curvature associated with a singularity is infinite at that singularity and as such time stops having any meaning.

Whether that is what happens, or not; no one is quite sure because we don't know what the real Maths is; we haven't discovered yet.

There are lots of possibilities, including a bounded universe where there is no time outside the universe and so therefor no beginning, there is superstring theory (which is actually a hypothesis!) which seems to imply a weird symmetry that how the universe works when things get thiny is the same as them getting larger; but that's just weird.

We can believe but we don't yet know what the real nature of the singularity was or is until we have that Maths.
Saint_of_Me
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5/20/2015 12:36:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/19/2015 11:32:37 PM, Orangatang wrote:
First of all why does everyone call the big bang a theory when it can't be tested, isn't it just a hypothesis. Also I hear a lot of theists claiming that the big bang proves there is a beginning of time, is this true? I'm no physicist but I'm pretty sure nobody knows or has proven if there was a "before" to the big bang, or that the big bang proves a beginning of time. To my knowledge the big bang is just a hypothesis that seeks to explain various things we see in our universe, like how galaxies are moving away from each other, and I know cosmic background radiation counts as evidence of this in some way. I think the beginning of time claim may perhaps be a consequence of one of the many different interpretations of physics, right?

Oh...the Big Bang is more than a hypothesis. Too much evidence for that, my friend.

You will recall that it has been more than a few decades now since a couple of Bell Lab scientists actually detected the cosmic background radiation that was a residue from the BB, some 4.6 billion years ago. And after that..we sent up a satellite called COBE which further proved the CBR.

There is not much room for debate on this.

Also.... I think that there is now a lot MOREevidence in favor of the Big Bang Theory, since then. Also, let us look at definitions........

The difference between a hypothesis and a theory is according to my dictionary:

HYPOTHESIS implies insufficient evidence to provide more than a tentative explanation.

THEORY implies a greater range of evidence and greater likelihood of truth.

I think that there is enough evidence for the Big Bang that it should be called a theory.

Here is some of it.....

1. We can observe radiation left over from the Big Bang in the form of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and even see fluctuations in that from which it is believed the galaxies formed.

2. The expansion of the universe implies that at some time in the past everything must have been a lot closer together and hotter, which sounds a lot like the Big Bang to me!

3. In GR (General Relativity), there is a theory called the singularity theory which can be used to prove that there must have been a singularity (ie. a Big Bang) at some point in the past for every possible way we know to describe the Universe.

There is probably more evidence I could quote if I thought about it some more, but at least this will give you something to think about. Let me know if you need more links!
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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5/20/2015 5:14:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/19/2015 11:32:37 PM, Orangatang wrote:
First of all why does everyone call the big bang a theory when it can't be tested, isn't it just a hypothesis.
Not quite, Orang, since there is always the possibility of 'natural' experiments: specific predictions that can be observed, and that is what has happened.

The theory emerged following astronomers observing that galaxies were receding from us. Extrapolating backwards offered the conjecture that they all came from a common point.

At that time, it was still only a conjecture, and initially wasn't well-accepted, since many astronomers felt the universe was probably in an eternal steady state -- and the conjecture itself sounded somewhat mythological: religious, if you will. But combined with other observations, a good conjecture can offer an hypothesis, and one such hypothesis was the presence of cosmic microwave background radiation arising from the heat of the 'bang'.

This radiation was initially detected by accident, and its significance only realised later. But it matched a specific prediction, and brought interest in conducting other tests. Further observations regarding the relative proportion of elements in stars, the evolution of galaxies, and super-galactic structures offered evidence against steady state and in favour of a 'Big Bang'.

I hear a lot of theists claiming that the big bang proves there is a beginning of time, is this true?
As best I understand it, Orang, time is considered a property of the universe -- a physical metric rather than a metaphysical one. Since it's tied to the evolution of the universe itself, I don't think we have a clear referent for what 'before' time might mean, or what the 'beginning' does either. When we listen to cosmologists, they're very careful in their use of language. They often speak of 'approaching' the beginning, or 'early' in cosmology. One doesn't normally hear 'at' the beginning.

In mathematics there's a notion of 'limit approaching', useful when thinking about curves. For example, if you divide one by any number (i.e. 1/x) and plot that on a graph, then as the denominator gets bigger and bigger, the plot gets smaller and smaller -- approaching zero but never quite reaching it. Mathematicians say that the limit approach zero (conversely, as x gets smaller, the plot approaches infinity.)

It may be that time works in a similar way in our universe: from our perspective it approaches but never quite reaching zero. Similar ideas appear in general relativity, when observing an object approaching the event horizon of a black hole, for example.

It's not a very intuitive way to think of time, since we're always used to having a lot more time in our history than we ever need. But it might still be the most practical way to think of it cosmologically.

I'm not a physicist, Orang, but I hope the explanation helps.
Orangatang
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5/20/2015 9:19:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/20/2015 10:08:55 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
To be testable, a theory needs to be able to make a statement about how the world works that is not already known, and then have this statement shown to be true by empirical evidence.

When what you're testing is in the past, you test it by using the theory to predict Observations you could make in the future that have no reason to be observed if the theory is incorrect. In this way the BBT has made predictions and has been tested.

This makes sense, I was more hung up on the idea that a theory needed the phenomenon being explained to be repeated and verified by experiments (recreating the big bang in this case). These definitions (http://psychology.about.com...) seem better:

A theory is a well-established principle that has been developed to explain some aspect of the natural world. A theory arises from repeated observation and testing and incorporates facts, laws, predictions, and tested hypotheses that are widely accepted.

A hypothesis is a specific, testable prediction about what you expect to happen in your study.

This is what I get for not looking at the source the first hit on this google search (https://www.google.com...)

We don't have the laws of physics to describe what happened AT the beginning of the universe. None of our Maths work. In relativity, the gravitation curvature associated with a singularity is infinite at that singularity and as such time stops having any meaning.

Whether that is what happens, or not; no one is quite sure because we don't know what the real Maths is; we haven't discovered yet.

There are lots of possibilities, including a bounded universe where there is no time outside the universe and so therefor no beginning, there is superstring theory (which is actually a hypothesis!) which seems to imply a weird symmetry that how the universe works when things get thiny is the same as them getting larger; but that's just weird.

We can believe but we don't yet know what the real nature of the singularity was or is until we have that Maths.

I see so those that say it is the beginning have no actual evidential basis of justification it is just one guess of many possibilities.
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Orangatang
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5/20/2015 9:35:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/20/2015 12:36:07 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 5/19/2015 11:32:37 PM, Orangatang wrote:
First of all why does everyone call the big bang a theory when it can't be tested, isn't it just a hypothesis. Also I hear a lot of theists claiming that the big bang proves there is a beginning of time, is this true? I'm no physicist but I'm pretty sure nobody knows or has proven if there was a "before" to the big bang, or that the big bang proves a beginning of time. To my knowledge the big bang is just a hypothesis that seeks to explain various things we see in our universe, like how galaxies are moving away from each other, and I know cosmic background radiation counts as evidence of this in some way. I think the beginning of time claim may perhaps be a consequence of one of the many different interpretations of physics, right?



Oh...the Big Bang is more than a hypothesis. Too much evidence for that, my friend.

You will recall that it has been more than a few decades now since a couple of Bell Lab scientists actually detected the cosmic background radiation that was a residue from the BB, some 4.6 billion years ago. And after that..we sent up a satellite called COBE which further proved the CBR.

There is not much room for debate on this.

Also.... I think that there is now a lot MOREevidence in favor of the Big Bang Theory, since then. Also, let us look at definitions........

The difference between a hypothesis and a theory is according to my dictionary:

HYPOTHESIS implies insufficient evidence to provide more than a tentative explanation.

THEORY implies a greater range of evidence and greater likelihood of truth.

I think that there is enough evidence for the Big Bang that it should be called a theory.

Here is some of it.....

1. We can observe radiation left over from the Big Bang in the form of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and even see fluctuations in that from which it is believed the galaxies formed.

2. The expansion of the universe implies that at some time in the past everything must have been a lot closer together and hotter, which sounds a lot like the Big Bang to me!

3. In GR (General Relativity), there is a theory called the singularity theory which can be used to prove that there must have been a singularity (ie. a Big Bang) at some point in the past for every possible way we know to describe the Universe.

There is probably more evidence I could quote if I thought about it some more, but at least this will give you something to think about. Let me know if you need more links!

Oh yes I agree, I just had really bad definitions of theory and hypothesis.
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dee-em
Posts: 6,476
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5/20/2015 9:49:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/20/2015 9:19:51 PM, Orangatang wrote:

This makes sense, I was more hung up on the idea that a theory needed the phenomenon being explained to be repeated and verified by experiments (recreating the big bang in this case).

Well, some of the conditions which prevailed in the earliest moments of the universe are being reproduced in the laboratory (CERN and the LHC):

http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
Orangatang
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5/20/2015 10:17:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/20/2015 5:14:04 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/19/2015 11:32:37 PM, Orangatang wrote:
First of all why does everyone call the big bang a theory when it can't be tested, isn't it just a hypothesis.
Not quite, Orang, since there is always the possibility of 'natural' experiments: specific predictions that can be observed, and that is what has happened.

The theory emerged following astronomers observing that galaxies were receding from us. Extrapolating backwards offered the conjecture that they all came from a common point.

At that time, it was still only a conjecture, and initially wasn't well-accepted, since many astronomers felt the universe was probably in an eternal steady state -- and the conjecture itself sounded somewhat mythological: religious, if you will. But combined with other observations, a good conjecture can offer an hypothesis, and one such hypothesis was the presence of cosmic microwave background radiation arising from the heat of the 'bang'.

This radiation was initially detected by accident, and its significance only realised later. But it matched a specific prediction, and brought interest in conducting other tests. Further observations regarding the relative proportion of elements in stars, the evolution of galaxies, and super-galactic structures offered evidence against steady state and in favour of a 'Big Bang'.

I hear a lot of theists claiming that the big bang proves there is a beginning of time, is this true?
As best I understand it, Orang, time is considered a property of the universe -- a physical metric rather than a metaphysical one. Since it's tied to the evolution of the universe itself, I don't think we have a clear referent for what 'before' time might mean, or what the 'beginning' does either. When we listen to cosmologists, they're very careful in their use of language. They often speak of 'approaching' the beginning, or 'early' in cosmology. One doesn't normally hear 'at' the beginning.

In mathematics there's a notion of 'limit approaching', useful when thinking about curves. For example, if you divide one by any number (i.e. 1/x) and plot that on a graph, then as the denominator gets bigger and bigger, the plot gets smaller and smaller -- approaching zero but never quite reaching it. Mathematicians say that the limit approach zero (conversely, as x gets smaller, the plot approaches infinity.)

It may be that time works in a similar way in our universe: from our perspective it approaches but never quite reaching zero. Similar ideas appear in general relativity, when observing an object approaching the event horizon of a black hole, for example.

It's not a very intuitive way to think of time, since we're always used to having a lot more time in our history than we ever need. But it might still be the most practical way to think of it cosmologically.

I'm not a physicist, Orang, but I hope the explanation helps.

Thanks, your explanation is very informative and interesting. Also the BBT is verified by hypotheses (testable predictions) under my revised and improved definitions so it makes more sense to me now.
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Orangatang
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5/20/2015 10:25:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/20/2015 9:49:11 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/20/2015 9:19:51 PM, Orangatang wrote:

This makes sense, I was more hung up on the idea that a theory needed the phenomenon being explained to be repeated and verified by experiments (recreating the big bang in this case).

Well, some of the conditions which prevailed in the earliest moments of the universe are being reproduced in the laboratory (CERN and the LHC):

http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

Great point.
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drouel
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5/21/2015 9:21:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/19/2015 11:32:37 PM, Orangatang wrote:
First of all why does everyone call the big bang a theory when it can't be tested, isn't it just a hypothesis. Also I hear a lot of theists claiming that the big bang proves there is a beginning of time, is this true? I'm no physicist but I'm pretty sure nobody knows or has proven if there was a "before" to the big bang, or that the big bang proves a beginning of time. To my knowledge the big bang is just a hypothesis that seeks to explain various things we see in our universe, like how galaxies are moving away from each other, and I know cosmic background radiation counts as evidence of this in some way. I think the beginning of time claim may perhaps be a consequence of one of the many different interpretations of physics, right?

IMO: Its always been common sense, that we human beings are by far, not perfect, and therefore wouldn't of been possible to be molded from the image of god- we literally can take anything we please, out of context and twist into it, our own views and come up with a new argument supporting what we believe. The BIG BANG, was an idea, obviously an "unprovable" idea- A "newer" idea can be found here:
http://phys.org...

The Idea of a god managing an entire limitless universe, IMO, is so much more profound and far fetched, then the idea of our universe not having a beginning or an end. maybe, it has always been here .

(I cant recall not once, nodding off in a science class, yet remember many times dosing off in church or ccd classes, must of been the subject matter)
Orangatang
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5/21/2015 2:22:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/21/2015 9:21:40 AM, drouel wrote:
At 5/19/2015 11:32:37 PM, Orangatang wrote:
First of all why does everyone call the big bang a theory when it can't be tested, isn't it just a hypothesis. Also I hear a lot of theists claiming that the big bang proves there is a beginning of time, is this true? I'm no physicist but I'm pretty sure nobody knows or has proven if there was a "before" to the big bang, or that the big bang proves a beginning of time. To my knowledge the big bang is just a hypothesis that seeks to explain various things we see in our universe, like how galaxies are moving away from each other, and I know cosmic background radiation counts as evidence of this in some way. I think the beginning of time claim may perhaps be a consequence of one of the many different interpretations of physics, right?

IMO: Its always been common sense, that we human beings are by far, not perfect, and therefore wouldn't of been possible to be molded from the image of god- we literally can take anything we please, out of context and twist into it, our own views and come up with a new argument supporting what we believe. The BIG BANG, was an idea, obviously an "unprovable" idea- A "newer" idea can be found here:
http://phys.org...

The Idea of a god managing an entire limitless universe, IMO, is so much more profound and far fetched, then the idea of our universe not having a beginning or an end. maybe, it has always been here .

(I cant recall not once, nodding off in a science class, yet remember many times dosing off in church or ccd classes, must of been the subject matter)

Ok, well thanks for your input and the link. My question has been answered though, I just had bad definitions of hypothesis and theory.
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RuvDraba
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5/21/2015 2:54:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/20/2015 9:35:15 PM, Orangatang wrote:
I just had really bad definitions of theory and hypothesis.

Don't feel bad about this, Orang. Although there's a lot of science communication in the media about theories, experiments and results, there's not a lot of science education in the difference between a conjecture, hypothesis and theory, so you asked a really astute question.

It turns out that in practicing research, not every idea is a conjecture, not every prediction is an hypothesis, and not every explanation is a theory. As you guessed in your question, there's more to it, such as questions of relevance to existing knowledge, falsifiability, and ability to account for existing observations. The Hollywood version has scientists working alone, getting random bright ideas, conducting experiments and putting a chalk tick against a 'proven' new theory.

But real science has a lot of conversation: on conjectures, hypotheses, experimental designs, interpretation of results, and the formation of theories. The conversations bring most of the insight. :)
Orangatang
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5/21/2015 10:04:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/21/2015 2:54:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/20/2015 9:35:15 PM, Orangatang wrote:
I just had really bad definitions of theory and hypothesis.

Don't feel bad about this, Orang. Although there's a lot of science communication in the media about theories, experiments and results, there's not a lot of science education in the difference between a conjecture, hypothesis and theory, so you asked a really astute question.

It turns out that in practicing research, not every idea is a conjecture, not every prediction is an hypothesis, and not every explanation is a theory. As you guessed in your question, there's more to it, such as questions of relevance to existing knowledge, falsifiability, and ability to account for existing observations. The Hollywood version has scientists working alone, getting random bright ideas, conducting experiments and putting a chalk tick against a 'proven' new theory.

But real science has a lot of conversation: on conjectures, hypotheses, experimental designs, interpretation of results, and the formation of theories. The conversations bring most of the insight. :)

Thanks, I don't feel bad I'm happy I learned something ;) thanks to all that clarified in this thread too.
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